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Kawakawa: Universe Shifting – Video Premiere

Paloma Faith collaborator Sam Taylor introduces the superb new video for first single Universe Shifting from debut album Island Species.

Written by Amelia Gregory

KawaKawa by Simon McLaren
KawaKawa by Simon McLaren.

Kawakawa is Hidden Cameras and Paloma Faith collaborator Sam Taylor, and he has just launched his solo project. Sam was born on the island of Kawakawa in New Zealand, but moved to the UK as a baby, so the name has come to encapsulate a kind of dream-space for him, the perfect moniker for his soaring brand of dream-pop. The possibilities of this other world are reflected in new album Island Species, and a clever video for new single Universe Shifting, which Sam talks exclusively about below.

“Strangely but fittingly this video ended up being completely the opposite of what I’d imagined for the first single from the album. I’d imagined something simple, DIY, arty and with ME-NOT-IN-IT-AT-ALL. Fittingly, because the subject matter of the song is partly to do with accepting that you can’t control the vast majority of what happens to you during the course of your life.

Island Species press cover
I met Shay Hamias, a director from Th1ng film production and animation company not long after having thoughts about the first video and ended up instead with a beautifully lush, dynamic and cinematographically advanced video with ME-IN-YOUR-FACE-ALL-THE-WAY-

Kawakawa Promo Shot II
Shay had been wanting to make a music video as a ‘creative project’ alongside the more commercial work he does at his workplace and to try out some ideas he had for using rotating human figures, statues and dancers to create abstract shapes and chains of ‘sound waves’. These ideas just happened to fit well with the subject matter of the song – relinquishing the inevitable loss of control but smiling and carrying on anyway.

Kawakawa live
Shay set out three distinct sections or universes of the video using a colour pallet. I would be rotated through much of the video – stripped and reclothed as I was shifted between worlds.”

The album Island Species by Kawakawa is out now.


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